One of the best adventure games I've played at the turn of 21st century, Riddle of The Sphinx is an atmospheric and absorbing adventure set in modern Egypt. Given its largely empty world and obscure puzzles, it is no small wonder that the game managed to capture my attention to the very end (and I’m one of the “Myst is bad” crowd). |
So what makes Riddle of The Sphinx superior to your average Myst clone? There are plenty of reasons. First, the game’s premise, while not very original (i.e. explore ancient pyramid and its environs to discover secret of the Sphinx), is brought to life in excellent detail. The designers spent years researching ancient Egyptian myths, customs, and the way of life—and it shows. Never has ancient Egypt come to life in such painstaking detail as you will see in this game. Many puzzles are even based on actual traps and puzzles used by ancient Egyptians to deter tomb raiders. Puzzles are logical and well integrated into the game, and most of them are “real” enough to delight both amateur and professional Egyptologists (although they are not very challenging).
One of the best aspects of Riddle of the Sphinx is the nonlinear gameplay. As the Adrenaline Vault’s review says, “...there are so many places to go, and rarely do you have to follow a fixed sequence of steps to get somewhere. You will truly feel as if you are discovering and sifting through clues in the same way a research scientist would. As your backpack is filled with highly unusual items, not all of which are critical for success, you might realize that the joy of this game is not just in getting the answer to the riddle, but in having fun digging around along the way.”
With excellent historical basis and puzzles, Riddle of the Sphinx is a great adventure that anyone who likes a good mystery will enjoy. The riddle of the Sphinx, once you discover it, is well worth the wait, and the game has countless details, side tracks, and distractions to keep you entertained along the way. As you try to decipher cryptic passages, analyze strange items, and explore secret caverns, you will feel the sense of exhilaration that must be what attracts real-life Egyptologists to their job. This sense of immersion is what all adventure games strive to do, but few manage to achieve it. I can’t recommend the game highly enough—a must have!
Reviewed by: Underdogs